This past week we announced, with our key partner Honeywell, the introduction of a new capability for our government aviation users – the immediate global availability of high-throughput Ka-band service – ‘SATCOM as a Service’ – across the new Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites using Honeywell’s JetWave aircraft hardware. Honeywell recently achieved Inmarsat type approval for its JetWave aeronautical terminals, which enable access to the Global Xpress network and provide users with a more connected flying experience while over land or sea.
Together, our Global Xpress ‘SATCOM as a Service’ and Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communication hardware provide a consistent, high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity experience for military users around the world, improving overall situational awareness and safety while allowing troops to communicate more effectively.
The ‘SATCOM as a Service’ capability allows mobile users to access Global Xpress’ seamless and reliable connectivity, delivered as a managed service that spans the world. This is exciting because governments are embarking on new programs to recapitalize their connectivity, and this capability can speed up government aircraft connections by an order of magnitude or more.
Inmarsat has, unquestionably, today’s best global service for government aviation, and there are four critical elements that enable us to do this:
- Uniform global coverage: while many commercial satellite operators focus their attention on populated or frequently flown areas, we know that many of government’s most challenging communication needs don’t happen there. Often, satellite systems that perform well at home will deliver much less capability in a remote location – if they can serve it at all. Inmarsat has always provided worldwide coverage with the same performance regardless of whether a plane is at its home base, in the middle of an ocean or in some distant land. This is a challenging technical standard to which the U.S. military designs its own systems, and we do the same.
- Reliability: it may be obvious, but consumer-grade services, which work “most of the time”, do not cut it for government. In a plane, far from home, lives are often on the line and “all the time” is the only standard that matters. Inmarsat’s history as the world’s only safety service for both maritime and aviation industries has meant that we focus more on reliability than any other operator – with everything from redundant networks and ground stations to spare satellites in orbit. The new Global Xpress services are available via Inmarsat’s fifth-generation satellites but you will find our extremely reliable third and fourth-generation satellites in use on most government planes today for just that reason. Honeywell has been a big part of that success and brings a tremendous reputation for aviation reliability to the Global Xpress service.
- Security: Inmarsat takes this extremely seriously and is proud of the trust that governments place in us. We have invested in security features on Global Xpress from the very beginning, with highly controlled facilities and networks in reliable countries, trusted spacecraft and ground equipment manufacturers and key U.S. government supplier partners like Honeywell. We have an industry-leading cybersecurity team that focuses on every aspect of our service and is constantly working to adapt to new threats.
- Cost-effectiveness: tighter budgets are spurring the government to look at new ways of leveraging commercial satellite services to augment and extend their own satellite systems. For decades, Inmarsat has led the industry in the delivery of ‘SATCOM as a Service’, which provides the ubiquitous mobility, security enhancements and reliability of centrally managed redundant network resources. Just as important, by eliminating the need for agencies to host and maintain their own ground networks, government users have discovered that they can get access to the latest features at much lower cost. Network buyers are moving toward this model, just as they have adopted shared IT services in the cloud. Inmarsat Global Xpress is the largest global ‘SATCOM as a Service’ offering, and we are already seeing government aviation customers across the spectrum – diplomatic, intelligence, military, scientific – all specifying Global Xpress as the key element of their next-generation services.
Inmarsat’s focus on mobility for over 37 years has resulted in systems optimized for the demanding “go anywhere at any time” nature of government – whether aid agencies responding to a humanitarian crisis during disasters, a sudden VIP diplomatic mission, a remote intelligence collection aircraft diverted to a hot spot or the Defense Department serving the deployed and en-route needs of the world’s largest military force. Inmarsat and our partners are honored to be a critical part of all of these missions. They demand, and deserve, the best.
About the author
Peter Hadinger leads Inmarsat’s business unit responsible for all U.S. Government sales and programs. He has recently been responsible for developing the government-focused capabilities and services of Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress program. Previously he spent 30 years as a leader in technology development, engineering and government spacecraft programs at Northrop Grumman. He holds multiple patents in advanced communications.
Peter’s diverse regulatory and policy background includes leadership roles in the WTO Telecom Services Agreement, the FCC World Radio Conference Advisory Committee, the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and a fellowship in the U.S. Senate.
Peter received his BSEEE from California State Polytechnic University, an MBA with emphasis in finance and strategic planning from George Mason University, and serves on engineering advisory boards at Virginia Tech.